Using Tunable Origami for Active Energy Absorption

Energy absorption devices are widely used to mitigate damage from collisions and impact loads. Due to the inherent uncertainty of possible impact characteristics, passive energy absorbers with fixed mechanical properties are not capable of serving in different application scenarios. Therefore, origami-inspired structures, which possess the ability to reconfigure and deploy, are a qualified candidate for a novel active design. In this work, we apply the constrained zipper-coupled Miura-ori tubes (deployable and stiff after locking) as the basis to a tubular energy absorber. Numerical and experimental (static and dynamic) studies are performed to quantify the response of these novel structures. This work shows that the reconfigurable origami could change their stiffness and the total amount of energy they absorb. These behaviors are suitable for creating systems with on-demand properties that adapt to different impact scenarios. (For more details on this project)

Project Organization:
Principal Investigator: Prof. Evgueni T. Filipov
Graduate Student: Zhongyuan WO
Undergraduate Student: Julia Raneses

The research team of this project acknowledge funding from the ZF Automotive Research Award and the Office of Naval Research (Grant N00014-18-1-2015). J.R. acknowledges support from the SURE program at the University of Michigan.